Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Nomadic People

I write a regular piece for Urban Saints as part of their excellent Energize material for youth and children's groups. If you haven't come across it I do commend it to you.

The particular thing I do is to produce a study based on an item in the news. Although you will need to subscribe to get the full benefit, you can browse the site. Recent studies have been on riots, Libya, Egypt, that Royal wedding and the Japanese tsunami. Topical stuff.

Last week they asked me to do some thinking on the Dale Farm eviction. That is the slightly surreal story of the travellers who want to stay where they are.

I do not want to steal my own thunder but just to say that the biblical material was fascinating. What right have any of us got, if we place our citizenship in heaven, to say we have arrived anywhere? We are all nomads. We have been ever since Abram heard God tell him to go somewhere else. We are a pilgrim people descended from a pilgrim people. So although from time to time some settle down and stay put others continue on missionary journeys.

Some members of the Dale Farm community have probably broken some laws, or done somethings without formal permission. Basildon Council doesn't exactly come out of the affair smelling of roses though.

The fewer travellers there are the rarer the land, in a densely populated country, on which they might make their temporary home. There's the rub.

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